Back to Basics of Easy Entertaining with Ina Garten

I watched Barefoot Contessa earlier today. The Perfect Dinner Party episode was on. The recipes sound tasty and inviting.

perfect dinner menu on barefoot contessa

The main course, the Bay Scallop Gratins is a recipe from her latest cookbook of her Barefoot Contessa series, a book titles Back to Basics.

If you wish to test run the book before buying it, try the Bay Scallop Gratins since the recipe is published on

Cooking Tips

Several people who did the recipes suggested to reduce the amount of salt. For all recipes, except desserts, I adjust the salt to suit my taste buds. Seasoning is a personal choice and should be viewed as guidelines not absolute. Moreover, when the recipes contain salty ingredients like pancetta or capers, it is normal to reduce the amount of added salt.

A few people notice the garlic taste. One trick I used is to cook longer your garlic at lower temperature. The more you cook garlic, the more its taste will sweeten.

For desserts, serve homemade candies with whole fresh pears.

  • Fleur De Sel Caramels – Do not attempt without a good candy thermometer. Digital thermometers are more precise. Beware that you need to adjust the amounts of sugar and water. Readers say the recipe turned out wonderfully if they 1 1/2 c. sugar. Some readers also increase the water to 1/2 c. water while others did not.
  • White Chocolate Bark was a hit with her guests on the episode. I am not a huge fan of white chocolate so I may try a marbled chocolate version. But really, without trying it I cannot be sure about how it will turns out.

Back To Basics

back to basics by ina garten

Back to Basics concentrates on the techniques she used. Plus, you get nearly a hundred new recipes. I discussed the book during the Holidays with a few girl friends. Everyone loves it!

Ina’s dinner party menu was so easy to make that I suggest you prepare it for your family this weekend.

+ For Americans: Back to Basics $21 USD
+ For Canadians: Basic to Basics $25.20 CAD

  • Maureen
    January 12, 2009 at 17:40

    I just love all of the Ina Garten books. I try to watch her show when I can. It is just everyday food that tastes great and is easy to prepare and looks fabulous.

  • dwellings and decor
    January 12, 2009 at 22:58

    I bought this book for my mom and we are actually going over to her house pretty soon to eat a meal from it. Can’t wait!